Seven ways to use WirelessHART for applications other than conventional process variable monitoring

by | Mar 31, 2021 | Asset Management, Industrial IoT, Measurement Instrumentation | 1 comment

In a Hydrocarbon Processing article, Emerson’s Andrew Cureton looks at a variety of ways WirelessHART can support asset management strategies.

If we go back in time to Emerson’s introduction of its first WirelessHART enabled instruments, they were all process instruments, such as temperature and pressure transmitters. But it didn’t take long for users to recognize that there were many more ways to use WirelessHART, like for asset condition monitoring. Wireless vibration monitors and similar devices quickly followed. Additionally, a temperature transmitter could monitor a motor bearing just as easily as a process fluid.

Sometimes users just need some creative ideas on how to implement these kinds of projects, which is the idea of my article in Hydrocarbon Processing’s January issue, which you can access on our website. Some of these suggestions are very simple:

Estimates suggest that 18% of the steam traps in a typical large refinery or petrochemical plant fail every year, each causing about $16,000 in extra fuel and steam costs. By installing WirelessHART acoustic transmitters, plants can quickly identify steam traps that fail open or closed, are leaking, or working improperly. They listen in ultrasonic ranges and can recognize sounds made by units in various states using an algorithm to identify failure modes (“good,” “blow through,” “cold” or “inactive”), and can send warnings of malfunctioning units.

The transmitter here is Emerson’s Rosemount 708 Wireless Acoustic Transmitter, which works just as well for monitoring pressure relief valves for leakage, which happens to be one of the suggested applications, so now you have two.

Other application suggestions are more complex, such as heat exchangers:

Getting the most efficiency out of common shell-and-tube unit requires knowing what is happening inside. The main operating parameters are defined by a group of measurements:

  • Inlet and outlet temperatures for both the process and transfer fluids
  • Differential pressure (DP) reading across the inlet and outlet of the process fluid
  • Flow rate for the transfer fluid.

 The following is a typical setup using WirelessHART instrumentation:

  • Temperature transmitters capable of sending data from four sensors on one wireless signal, reporting each reading in turn. The host system updates each sensor reading individually. This covers all four temperature measurements.
  • The DP reading across the tubes uses a native WirelessHART DP transmitter.
  • The flow meter for the transfer fluid can use a self-contained DP transmitter with a native WirelessHART network.

 Here the pressure transmitter can be Emerson’s Rosemount 3051S Wireless Coplanar Pressure Transmitter, and for the temperature measurements, a Rosemount 848T Wireless Temperature Transmitter works well.

These applications and the others mentioned in the article all work together. Pervasive Sensing applications enabled by wireless sensors and networks allowing you to quickly and cost-effectively obtain new strategic data. You can use this data to create actionable information and quickly improve your operations.

How extensively are wireless deployments in your plant? Are they an integral part of your asset management strategies? Visit the Industrial Wireless Technology pages at for more on pervasive sensing, and to learn about evolving networking technologies and solutions. You can also connect and interact with other engineers in the Oil & Gas, Chemical, and IIoT & Digital Transformation Groups at the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.

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